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Stories by Beth Accomando

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WonderCon Kicks Off Fourth Year In Anaheim This Friday

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If you were unable to buy tickets for this summer's Comic-Con then you might want to consider WonderCon, Comic-Con's little sister. But don’t hesitate because WonderCon is looking to sell out as well.

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Rants And Raves: TCM Classic Film Festival

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If you love classic movies then you can find heaven on earth this weekend at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

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'It Follows' Will Make You Look Over Your Shoulder In Dread And Love It

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"It Follows" (opening March 27 in select San Diego theaters) is one of the best horror films in years. So why has the studio been delaying the release and making access to press materials so difficult?

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'Selma '65' Looks At The Voting Rights Act And Famous Civil Rights March

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Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the last leg of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March. To celebrate that historic event, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice will present a performance of Catherine Filloux's play, "Selma '65."

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Banff Mountain Film Festival Closes Its Sold Out Run Monday Night At La Paloma

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The Banff Mountain Film Festival concludes its sold out San Diego County run Monday night at the La Paloma Theater and is inspiring attendees to seek out their own mountain adventures.

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'Merchants Of Doubt' Suggests We're All Being Conned

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“Merchants of Doubt” (opening March 20 at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas) is a documentary that wants to alert us to how we’re being conned and sometimes as willing participants.

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FilmOut Presents High Art And Low Camp With Karen Black Double Feature

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Actress Karen Black died in August 2013. FilmOut San Diego on Wednesday night will pay tribute to her great range with a double feature at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas.

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'Nixon In China' And Why Modern Opera Can Be Scary And Exciting

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Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 changed international relations forever. You’d expect to find it in the history books but you might be surprised to see it as the inspiration for a modern opera. "Nixon in China's" director and soprano explain why a modern opera can be a scary and exciting thing.

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Sink Your Teeth Into A Pair Of Draculas

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You are not seeing double but this month the Film Geeks at the Digital Gym Cinema present two "Draculas," both made in 1931 by Universal Pictures.

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Big Changes At 22nd Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival

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The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off Thursday at the AMC Fashion Valley Theaters. The festival has a new home base and some new programmers at the helm, so change is in the air.

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San Diego Film Awards Will Be Handed Out Saturday

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The second annual San Diego Film Awards attracted 200 entries, and 40 awards will given out Saturday at the Horton Grand Theatre.

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'The Salvation' Serves Up Eye For An Eye Retribution

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The western is a classically American genre, but the Italians tackled it with gusto in the 1960s and last year we saw the first Austrian western. This weekend you can enjoy "The Salvation" (opening March 6 at Landmark's Ken Cinema), a Danish take on the American standard.

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Audio Describers Bring San Diego Opera To Visually Impaired

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The San Diego Opera provides an underutilized service called audio description. It allows the visually impaired to enjoy an opera performance more fully.  

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The Cold War Played Out On An Ice Rink In 'Red Army'

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The documentary "Red Army" — about Soviet era hockey — arrives in San Diego (opening Feb. 27 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) just as the sport skates back into town. It's a documentary that even non-hockey fans will find riveting.

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Globe's 'The Twenty-Seventh Man' Finds Inspiration In Soviet History

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For the Globe’s new production of "The Twenty-Seventh Man" (running through March 22), playwright Nathan Englander found inspiration in an incident known as the Night of the Murdered Poets that took place under Stalin’s regime.

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87th Oscar Show Was Snoozer But 'Birdman,' J. K. Simmons Were Deserving Winners

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The 87th annual Academy Awards were Sunday night and the top winners were “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with four awards each. But the show was a rough and bumpy night.

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'The Grift' Serves Up Interactive Play At The Lafayette Hotel

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If you think going to the theater is a passive activity, think again. Audiences for "The Grift" follow the play through The Lafayette Hotel and are asked to perform tasks along the way.

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'What We Do In The Shadows' Sheds Light On Modern Vampire Life

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If the dry absurd humor of the HBO show "Flight of the Conchords" is to your taste then sink your teeth into "What We Do In The Shadows" (opening Friday at Landmark's Ken Cinema) for a tasty new treat.

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Midday Movies: Handicapping The 87th Academy Awards

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The 87th Academy Awards are this Sunday (red carpet begins at 4 p.m.). Vegas oddsmakers have the independent film "Boyhood" as the favorite with the Clint Eastwood war film "American Sniper" as the extreme long shot. Find out what a pair of San Diego film critics think of this year's Oscar race.

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FilmOut Screens John Waters' 'Polyester' In Odorama

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John Waters’ film "Polyester" is more than three decades old but it will offend your olfactory senses once again when it screens Wednesday night as part of FilmOut’s monthly film series.

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Framing 'Don Giovanni' At The San Diego Opera

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San Diego Opera opened "Don Giovanni" over the weekend. Mozart's classic is performed often but this production aims for something both modern and rooted in the 18th century.

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'Kingsman' Delivers Action Etiquette

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If “50 Shades of Grey” isn’t your cup of tea this Valentine’s weekend, then try “Kingsman: The Secret Service."

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Julianne Moore Is Memorable In 'Still Alice'

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Sometimes science fact is scarier than science fiction. “Still Alice” (opening Friday at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas and Arclight La Jolla) looks to the terrifying reality of Alzheimer’s.

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Warning: 'Avenue Q' Contains Full Puppet Nudity

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Coronado Playhouse just extended its run of the musical "Avenue Q" through March 7. But don't be fooled by the cute puppets, this show is not for kids.

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San Diego Jewish Film Fest Celebrates A Quarter Century

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Fifty shorts, 48 features and documentaries, 10 days and five venues — the 25th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival promises lots of choices and diversity.

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The Slow Burn Of 'A Most Violent Year'

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Against the backdrop of New York City and rising violent crime in 1981, a man tries to build a business empire in “A Most Violent Year” (opening Jan. 30 in select San Diego theaters).

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Good Actors Adrift In 'Black Sea'

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Submarines make for tense, claustrophobic settings and “Black Sea” (opening Friday in select San Diego theaters) takes us on an old Russian sub where plenty can go wrong.

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Less Is More With 'Two Days, One Night'

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Sometimes a foreign film’s wider distribution hinges on whether or not it garners any Academy Awards nominations. "Two Days, One Night" (opening Jan. 30 at Landmark's La Jolla Village Theatres) just secured a best actress nomination and is now finally opening in San Diego. It was worth the wait.

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San Diego Opera's 'La Bohème' Serves Up A Tasty Take On Puccini's Opera

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Food is being served at San Diego Opera’s latest production of "La Bohème" (opening Saturday at the Civic Theatre). But this food is being served on stage.

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The Universal Suspects: 40 Monsters, 31 Movies, 12 Months, No Escape

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The Film Geeks at the Digital Gym Cinema will present a year of Universal's classic monster movies starting Sunday.

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CoVen Lets Dancers Play With Fire

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On Saturday, the Fire Garden in Bonsall hosts CoVen, a fire, circus, dance show featuring the multi-talented Anna Yanushkevich.

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'Wetlands' Heroine Rejects Personal Hygiene As Her Form Of Rebellion

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Coming of age stories usually focus on male characters. Germany’s "Wetlands" (opening Jan. 16 at the Digital Gym Cinema) gives us a rebellious young woman as the center.

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The Oscars Versus The Cinema Junkie Awards

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The benefit of being a film critic is that when all the nominations and awards come out, I have a public outlet for channeling all my anger.

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Rants And Raves: Confessions of a ‘Re-Animator The Musical’ Groupie

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I have a confession. I am a “Re-Animator The Musical” groupie and here’s why you should be, too.

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Film Classics Return To The Big Screen At The Ken

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The Ken Cinema tested a week of classic cinema last year that drew praise and crowds. Now they serve up another week of film classics to kick off the New Year.

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Paul Thomas Anderson Finds The Virtues In Thomas Pynchon's 'Inherent Vice'

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Paul Thomas Anderson is the first director ambitious enough to tackle American novelist Thomas Pynchon, who’s noted for his dense and complex novels. "Inherent Vice" (opening Jan. 9 at Landmark Theatres) proves to be a trippy take on the noir detective genre.

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'Mr. Turner' Brings Painter To Vivid Life

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Director Mike Leigh is known for fashioning scripts from a long improvisational process with his actors. He puts this to good use to breathe life into "Mr. Turner" (opening Friday at Arclight La Jolla) about innovative landscape painter J.M.W. Turner.

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'Hot Guys Dancing' Delivers What The Title Promises And More

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"Hot Guys Dancing" (continuing through this weekend at Diversionary Theatre) is a perfect advertising come on to reliably pack a house with gay men and straight women.

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'The Interview' And Using Comedy As A Weapon

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The Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview” (continuing at The Digital Gym Cinema and now added at La Paloma Theater), about an absurd CIA-engineered assassination plot to be executed by a TV interview host against Kim Jong-Un, has stirred far more controversy than anyone ever expected. Here are some films — armed with nothing more than comedy — that have also taken on dictators.

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'The Imitation Game' Cracks The Enigma Of Alan Turing

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Benedict Cumberbatch played a dragon in "The Hobbit" movies, as well as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series. This Christmas you can find him playing the mathematician who helped break the enigma code in "The Imitation Game" (opening Dec. 25 in select San Diego theaters).

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Don't Go 'Into The Woods'

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Rob Marshall nabbed (I'd say stole) an Oscar for his movie version of the musical "Chicago." Now he tackles "Into the Woods" (opening Dec. 25 throughout San Diego) and it’s no fairy tale.

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Commedia Dell'arte And The Roots Of Slapstick

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Chronos Theatre Group is dedicated to connecting modern audiences with works from around the world and through time. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews a workshop on commedia dell’arte to find out how a 16th century Italian comedy style connects with people in the new millennium.

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'The Babadook' Tackles Childhood Fears And More

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If you’ve had all the holiday cheer you can take, then how about a dose of atmospheric Australian horror with “The Babdook” (opening Dec. 19 at the Digital Gym Cinema).

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Welcoming The Final 'Hobbit' Movie With A Mealtime Marathon

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The latest installment of “The Hobbit Trilogy” — “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” — boasts that it is “The Defining Chapter.” Well, let’s just say that hopefully it will be the last.

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'Wild' Offers Artistically Tame Journey Of Self-Discovery

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"Wild" is the story of one woman’s journey to find herself and as such, there's a lot of introspection and internal dialogue.

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Mexican Noir At The Digital Gym

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Film noir is a distinctly American film style that emerged in the 1940s. But its influence has been felt around the globe. You can check out some Mexican noir this Saturday at the Digital Gym Cinema.

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'The Dark Valley' Serves Up An Alpine Western

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Eighty-three countries have submitted entries for the 2015 Best Foreign Film Oscar. You can check out the Austrian entry, “The Dark Valley,” when it opens this weekend at the Digital Gym Cinema.

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Bond 24 Will be Called SPECTRE

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Be still my heart! New Bond movie was revealed this morning as "SPECTRE" with Christoph Waltz as the villain and Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra.

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John Waters Still Shocking And Fun After All These Years

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John Waters won himself a place in the pop culture landscape with his 1972 film "Pink Flamingos" starring Divine. Tonight he appears at the North Park Theatre for a sold out performance of "A John Waters Christmas," which details his obsession and passion for the winter holiday. Waters talks about his new book "Carsick."

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John Waters Comes To San Diego For One Man Show

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Cult icon John Waters makes a rare live appearance Monday in San Diego at the North Park Theatre for "A John Waters Christmas."